Jordan Love starts the 2022 preseason with the following stat line: 13-24; 176 yards, 3 interceptions, 2 touchdowns. Three straight drives ended in Love interceptions in the first half. With the decision to extend Love’s rookie contract a looming Packer priority, Love and the Packers have a few choices which include but are not limited to; Play Love in all 4 quarters for the rest of the preseason; pull crossing throws from the Love playbook; or admit he is a failure and promote Danny Etling. Love repeatedly threw behind receivers doing crossing patterns, leading to one of his three interceptions and multiple incompletions. Love was playing behind the current first string offensive line and both failed to impress. The repeated failures to convert with a run play on third or fourth down facing short yardage, against a 49er second team defense, tells you this o-line is more like the old SNL, “Not Ready for Prime Time Players” than a dominating offensive line. The only good news was Love not being sacked.
For Packer fans looking for a quick jump in special team performance, patience is going to be required. While Amari Rodgers looks quicker and is playing with more confidence, the coverage teams repeatedly allowed returns around the 30 yard line and Gabe Brkic’s shank of a chip shot field goal left most green and gold fans praying for a quick recovery for Mason Crosby.
Much fanfare has been made of special teams coach Rich Bisaccia and his Special Team recruits from the Raiders, Dallin Leavitt and Rico Gafford. After this preseason game you can’t blame Packer fans for being nonplussed. Each player gave up a critical big catch that led to 14 San Francisco points.
You could take the position that this is a meaningless game. Twenty five players were held out by the Packers. But Green Bay fans who left Lambeau Field partially frozen on January 22, 2022 wanted more from the Packers in this game. From the opening kick, the 49ers competed and made plays. While the Packers had more yards and first downs in the first half, they gave the game to the 49ers by allowing big negative plays and failing to step up and make winning plays when needed. The 49ers and Kyle Shanahan walked away with a win and their familiar swagger. Let’s hope the Packers leave the Bay Area embarrassed and hungry to finally take the SF monkey off of LaFleur’s back.